Monday, November 11, 2013

Mandarin Chinese-- Lesson 51 supplementary (Legend of the Chinese Zodiac and the Zodiac song)

Mandarin Chinese-- Lesson 51 supplementary 
(Legend of the Chinese Zodiac and the Zodiac song in Chinese)

Years ago, God asserted that he'd choose twelve animals as a yardstick to measure the periodic of the years. Almost all of the animals dreamed of being chosen just for this lucky moment. But nobody knew how to be chosen. So God made a decision to have a very race to determine who would be chosen in this particular race. The race rule was that the first twelve animals who crossed the river could be Zodiac. The race started in the first day of the next year. 

During that time, the cat and the rat were close friends, so that they thought they would join the race as accompaniers. However the cat couldn’t swim, he told the rat that he was obviously a little concerned about the race because he didn't know how to swim. The rat said "No worry, the Ox is an excellent swimmer, so we could ask him for a ride."  One more thing about the cat was that he was a Sleepy Head, but he didn't expect to oversleep on the race day. So he asked the rat –his best friend to wake him up in the morning of the race day. The rat said he would wake the cat up when he got up.

Finally, the crossing river race day was coming. The Rat was an early bird, but he forgot to wake up the cat when he left for the race.

All the animals except the cat arrived at the river and got ready to have the race at one side of the river. Once the race started, the Rat jumped onto the Ox’s back and hold him very tight. Everybody tried their full capacity to swim towards the opposite side of the river. The Ox was the quickest one, and it also seemed that he would be the one to win the race. But just as the Ox was ready to land on the reverse side of the river, the Rat jumped away from his back, and became the number one. The Ox was crowned second one, along with other animals arrived one by one. According the race rule, the Rat became the lead sign of the year cycle. And the order of the Chinese Zodiac is Rat, XO, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

What about the Cat? The cat missed the race because of his oversleep on the race day. After the race, the Cat hated the Rat significantly and they are not friends any more. For this reason, when the Cat meets the Rat, he'll almost certainly chase the Rat and attempt to kill him.

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